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Rudd Carbon Plan Unravelling: Urgent Review Needed

The Australian Greens say the growing discontent over the Government's carbon trading scheme - including the Government's own advisor Professor Ross Garnaut - now means it's imperative that an immediate review be held of the scheme's targets and design.

Australian Greens Climate Spokesperson and Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said today's blunt assessment by Prof. Garnaut condemning compensation for big polluters as 'over the top', echoed other damning assessments from economists, scientists and environmentalists.
"The scheme is unravelling rapidly as the experts assess the detail and find it to be environmentally irresponsible, economically inefficient and actually disastrous for Australia."

"When the Prime Minister announced the scheme it was not only scientists who were aghast but economists who couldn't understand why the government would reward the biggest polluters with 'over the top' compensation that will end up costing taxpayers unlimited amounts into the future."

"Australians want to know why the government has decided that multi-nationals like Rio Tinto and Blue Scope Steel deserve this level of corporate welfare."

"They also want to know how Woodside's Don Veolte managed to persuade the government to be so generous to the LNG industry when, as Prof. Garnaut says, there appeared to be no clear principles or criteria behind the decision."

"The whole point of an Emissions Trading Scheme is to reduce emissions by putting a price on carbon to drive a change in consumer behaviour at the lowest possible cost. But by giving away 97% of the funds in compensation, the government has dampened the price signal."

"To drive a clean energy revolution we need not only to roll our renewable energy but also to strengthen the existing grid, improve its efficiency by making it an 'intelligent grid', and to extend it to areas where geothermal, solar thermal, large solar arrays and wind, can be located. Under the government's scheme there is no money to transform the grid."

"Equally concerning is that the proposed cash compensation to households will not be a sufficient driver to boost the manufacturing of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, or to encourage the hundreds of thousands of green-collar jobs needed for this transformation."

"This flawed scheme will instead lock-in the coal industry and lock-out the renewable energy sector until well after 2020, when it is clear that the government is pinning all its hopes on its pipe-dream of carbon capture and storage."

"With the Climate Institute and the Australian Conservation Foundation joining the Greens in condemnation of the scheme, and with the growing concern among economists, it is essential that the government admits that it has got the scheme completely wrong and immediately review its weak targets, and its shocking bias and generosity to the big polluters."

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